Data centre operators in particular are expected to show increasing demand for fibre optic cabling system solutions. R&M anticipates growth of around 20 per cent per year in this segment. ‘The increase in data traffic means that data centres are having to invest in higher performance network architectures and in the consolidation of their infrastructures. Over the next three years, these trends are set to influence the industrial sector to an extent never before seen by the market,’ said R&M CMO Andreas Rüsseler, with an eye on current international market studies.
According to these studies, cloud applications are among the driving forces for this. The number of companies using IT services from external data centres is growing. Cloud data centres are already responsible for 70 per cent of IT work around the world. Private users are increasingly using the web and the corresponding data centres for transferring images and videos. Recent studies show that around 91 per cent of Internet data traffic is related to the transmission of videos. ‘Over the last year, global traffic handled by data centres reached the barely imaginable volume of five zettabytes,’ said Andreas Rüsseler (one zettabyte is equal to about a trillion gigabytes or the content of 250 billion DVDs which, if stacked, would reach a height of around 300,000 km).
According to R&M, consolidation, automation, and increases in efficiency are today some of the most important challenges relating to the operation of data centres. ‘We recognised these needs and adapted our product development accordingly,’ said Andreas Rüsseler. R&M will soon be a highly compressed platform for fibre optic cabling. This will put data centres in a position to increase the number of plug connections in a network cabinet by two thirds.
‘Data centres with large numbers of plug connections will no longer be able to handle them all in future without an automated infrastructure management such as that offered by R&MinteliPhy,’ added Andreas Rüsseler.
The latest developments, such as the dramatic increase in the private use of action cameras and cell phones with extremely high resolution, allow data traffic to keep on growing. They enable functions such as the transfer of live pictures via the Internet and cellular phone networks. ‘We also now have the Internet of Things, which is currently on the rise,’ said Rüsseler.
Today, around nine billion things are connected to the Internet, transmitting data constantly. Other estimations suggest there are in fact 25 billion pieces of terminal equipment, including surveillance cameras, industrial robots and robotic vacuum cleaners, agricultural machinery, aircraft engines, electric cars, living room thermostats, smartphones, fitness bracelets, and many more. Various predictions suggest there will be up to 30 billion things online in 2020.
In the end, most data from the Internet of Things will end up back in data centres, which must enhance their infrastructures accordingly and provide networks that are available permanently. R&M firmly believes that the right response to these developments is modular, robust cabling technology that is flexible in its use and intuitive in its installation.
‘It’s a growth spiral. The less complicated these connections are, the easier it will be for the Internet of Things to grow,’ concluded the CMO of R&M in his annual forecast.